The “1st No-Plastic No-Styrofoam Kids Summer Camp,” kicked off in Bullet Tree Falls, San Ignacio yesterday. The camp was organized and funded by a group of active community members. It is expected to run from the 9th to 29th of July. According to Organizer, Anita Tzec, the camp was designed to create awareness, educate participants on the hazards that plastic and Styrofoam pose to our health, and to create opportunities for children in Bullet Tree Falls to engage in environmental stewardship. Tsec shared her inspiration behind the initiative at the Camp’s launching ceremony.
Dr. Anita: This camp was opened to 50 children ages 5 to 16 and their parents. We wish we could have included all the people of our village but we lack enough finances and human resources for such a venture. So why are we doing this? Because we strongly believe that phasing out of single use plastic and Styrofoam is the responsibility of each of us because we are the ones who use it, but we also know that we need to start making these personal small changes from our home. How do we do this? First, we need to start making positive changes at home, then, at the community level, we need to take action that positively influence others, and at the national level, we need a strong education campaign that is practical, innovative, and creative, especially to educate our young generations. We firmly believe that kids are key to making the difference in the long term. We see this as an urgent need and as one of the crucial building blocks to start reshaping our society with concern, conscience, and with love for a clean Belize.
Hon. Omar Figueroa, Minister of State, Ministry of Environment was also present at the launch to address the 50 campers. Here is some of what he had to say
Hon. Dr. Omar: When I was a young boy growing up in San Ignacio, I think the population of our country was less than 200,000, and perhaps we failed looking 20, 30, 40 years ahead to realize that we would have a problem with garbage and plastic. Now, we are trying to do what is in our hands to ensure that when you guys grow up, you live in a Belize that is a little bit cleaner and healthier, but the challenge actually will be in your hands to ensure that when you also grow up that you leave behind a Belize that is healthier, cleaner, and that’s better fit for your children. You always hear the saying that the children are our future, nothing could be closer to the truth than that statement. You guys, what you are about to embark on for the next three weeks, will actually set the stage to make sure that in Bullet Tree Falls, we are one step ahead for the rest of the country in ensuring that plastics and Styrofoam are not part of this beautiful village.
Creative arts, theatre, music, artistic recycling and photography specialists from Mexico, Guatemala, Argentina and Russia have been invited to facilitate this camp. At the end of the program, the Page 2 of 2 art and photography produced by the children will be exhibited for two weeks at the NICH House of Culture in San Ignacio Town, Cayo District.